Find Your Tribe
Have you found your tribe? You know, that group of people who get just as excited as you do about some obscure thing you can’t talk to most people about? Those people you can talk to about a certain thing in great detail without anyone getting bored? Those people who make you feel alive and that life is worth living?
I only recently discovered that finding your tribe is a thing, and that you can have several totally unrelated tribes at the same time. For example, in 2017 I discovered my tribe of language learning nerds. It was a refreshing and liberating experience. Multilingual karaoke anyone?
The FI Tribe
The other tribe I discovered was the FI community. Through this blog, organising FIWE and helping to start FIREhub I’ve come into contact with literally hundreds of FI enthusiasts who make me feel alive.
It’s refreshing to meet people who I can talk to freely about all things FI. People I don’t need to explain things to or make excuses to about what I do all day.
I also realised that when people from the FI community get together, we often don’t even talk about financial stuff.
The thing that makes these people stand out for me is that they are all people who have some insight into their own lives, who question the status quo and reflect on how they can live their best life. When you get a bunch of people like that together in a room, something magical happens. Millions of ideas are born, people feed off each others’ energy and enthusiasm and we feel like we can take on the world.
Have you ever felt like that?
If not, why not consider coming to the next Financial Independence Week Europe? You just might find your tribe…
What Is FIWE?
FIWE stands for Financial Independence Week Europe. (The acronym is pronouned “five”, like the number, not “fee-wee”.) It’s a meetup for like-minded people who are interested in financial independence, lifestyle design, minimalism and mindfulness.
Often people whose interests lie in these areas have trouble finding like-minded people to talk to in their immediate environment. FIWE aims to bring people together to exchange ideas in a relaxed, easygoing setting.
We originally ran the events over at our blog What Life Could Be, but we’ve recently shut the blog down and from now on you can find all FIWE-related information here at FIREhub.
What Happens at FIWE?
The main conference takes place over a weekend (Friday – Sunday) and includes presentations, discussion sessions, workshops and of course lots of free time for informal conversations.
After the main conference, a smaller group of people spend a few more days hanging out together in an even more informal setting. This part of the conference is called FIWE Extra. There are no formal presentations at FIWE Extra, there’s just lots of time to talk and exchange ideas and visions for the future.
How Much Does It Cost?
One of the most important things to know about FIWE is that it’s not for profit. We’re not looking to make any money out of it whatsoever. Let’s face it, we don’t need any more money. We also don’t believe that high costs should be a barrier to participation.
There is a participation fee, but it’s only to cover costs. We pay our share too. Also, we don’t invite big-name speakers and pay them for giving a presentation. All participants are on a level playing field with everyone covering their own costs.
How Many Participants Are There?
For the main conference we limit the number of participants to 25 excluding the two of us. That gives everyone the chance to talk to everyone else and makes it easier to create a good community atmosphere over the weekend.
FIWE Extra is smaller because not everyone is able or willing to extend their FIWE experience to a full week.
Who Can Participate?
The event is open to anyone who’s excited about financial independence, minimalism and generally living a meaningful, mindful life. Anyone who’s bursting with ideas but has no-one to share them with in their immediate surroundings. Anyone who’s looking for like-minded people to hang out with for a few days. Anyone who wants to finally be able to talk freely about FI, investing, their personal finances, and how they envision (or are already living) their financially free life.
Why Is There an Application Process?
Maybe you think it sounds harsh to set up an application process and pick and choose participants. Why don’t we just accept the first 25 people who apply?
Basically to make sure we have a good mix of participants from different places and with different experiences and ideas to contribute. If we operated on a first come, first serve basis we may end up with too many participants from a single country and/or with a single topic of focus. That would then make the event less enjoyable for the people who didn’t belong to that majority group.
How Do We Choose the Participants?
We look carefully at all the applications and choose participants based on the following criteria:
- Do they seem really, truly excited about the event?
- Do they have ideas and experiences to contribute?
- Will they add some diversity to the overall mix of participants?
- Can they communicate confidently in English about the kind of topics we’ll be discussing at FIWE?
When Is the Next Event?
We hope to hold another FIWE event in 2021, but as the covid situation is still very uncertain we can’t start planning anything yet. If you’d like to stay informed of any updates, please e-mail us at hello [at] firehub [dot] eu with the subject line “FIWE Mailing List” and we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we start planning the next event.
What’s It Like Participating in the Event?
If you’re not sure whether the event is for you, why not take a look at what we got up to at previous events? Each page also features blog articles written by former FIWE participants that offer valuable insights into what it’s like going to a FIWE event. Hopefully they will help you make up your mind!
We held the very first FIWE in Budapest in 2016. It was open to bloggers only – they were our guinea pigs and together we brainstormed ideas on what a bigger conference could look like in years to come.
We organised the first “proper” event in Timişoara, Romania in 2017. It was open to everyone, regardless of whether or not they had a blog. It also had more structure than FIWE 2016, with presentations and workshops as well as free-time activities.
Following the success of FIWE 2017, we decided to keep the event in Timișoara in 2018. We also kept the same basic format and structure, and many of the participants from FIWE 2017 came back for a second time.
In 2019 we decided to spice things up a bit by moving the event back to Budapest. Oh – and we spontaneously decided to double the number of participants into the bargain!
FIWE 2020 was going to take place in Timișoara for logistical reasons (i.e. we live there). We also decided to concentrate the event around three topics that we felt deserved to be discussed in more depth: #liveFIbeforeFI, #whyFI and #FIforimpact. We were super excited about the event, but unfortunately it was not to be and we ended up having to cancel the event due to the covid restrictions. The page is still worth checking out though, as it’s a good summary of how the event has evolved over the years and what our plans are for future events.